An equipment problem at the Pilgrim's Pride plant on Lake Shore Drive prompted the company to recall more than 50 tons of ready-to-eat chicken patties because of potential contamination with rubber, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Some of the products have already been sent to customers, including schools, according to a USDA press release.

The poultry plant issued the recall Friday for 30-pound boxes of Gold Kist Farms Fully Cooked Whole Grain Home-Style Breaded Chicken Patties that were packed in September, according to the press release.

Operations at the facility, which employs more than 600 people, have not been disrupted, and the recall has produced no layoffs, Pilgrim's Pride spokesman Cameron Bruett said.

Bruett said he does not know how many packages actually contained foreign material, "but it only takes one to prompt a recall, considering we want to use extreme caution."

The ready-to-eat chicken patties were produced and packed on Sept. 6, 2017, and the problem was discovered after Pilgrim's Pride received a customer complaint on Feb. 13, according to the USDA.

Customers who have already bought the recalled chicken should throw it away or return it.

There have been no reports of injury or illness because of the products, and anyone concerned about a health issue should contact a health care provider, according to the USDA press release.

Products subject to recall have a case code of "72491050xx" and a product code of "665400." They also have an establishment number of "P-20728" in the USDA mark of inspection, the press release states.

Bruett said Pilgrim's Pride will dispose of the recalled chicken.

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